Cricketer Hayden announces retirement.

Published: January 13, 2009 - 16:11 Updated: January 13, 2009 - 17:49

Hardnews Bureau

Mathew Hayden bid adieu to international cricket after he announced his retirement from all forms of the game on January 12, 2009. His 17-year playing career featured 103 Tests in which he scored 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73 and amassed 6,133 runs at an average of 43.80 in 161 one day internationals  Hayden also played a crucial role in Australia's World Cup wins in 2003 and 2007. All through his career Hayden tormented bowlers and it would be difficult for anyone in Australia to fill his shoes.

Hayden, initially, wanted to continue till the Ashes this year but with selectors ignoring him for the South African one-day and 20-20 series, the mighty left hander decided to call it quits. He has been a dominant force in world cricket and is one of the most successful openers for Australia. Hayden played his initial matches against South Africa and West Indies but didn't attain much success. The breakthrough came when Australia toured India in 2000-01 where he scored 549 runs in three Test matches. He then went on to break Bob Simpson's mark for most Test runs in a calendar year. Meanwhile he also excelled in the one-day format and was soon ranked amongst the top three batsmen in the world. Later in 2003, Hayden slammed 380 against Zimbabwe in Perth breaking Brian Lara's record of the highest score in Test cricket. He has 30 Test centuries to his name and stands behind only Ponting and Waugh on Australia's list of century-makers.

Hayden wanted to continue but a disappointing tour of India and then the home summer with South Africa prompted him to announce his retirement. While most senior cricketers in Australia believe that Hayden still had few more years of cricket but he thought otherwise. The only question that should worry the Australian selection board should be the replacement of this cricket giant. Though there are a few names that have cropped up but will they ever fill the shoes of the man who displayed exemplary cricketing skills and attitude.